A True Hero
March 18, 2005 2:13 AM   Subscribe

Private Johnson Beharry awarded the Victoria Cross. The Victoria Cross is Britain's highest award for bravery in combat. It's awared is incredibly rare. The last awards were made posthumously after the Falklands War in 1982. The last living recipients were two Australians in the Vietnam War in 1969. It is said that in order to qualify for a VC, conditions must be so dangerous that only 10% of recipients survive. The actions of Private Johnson Beharry are therefore worthy of a mention.
posted by salmacis (19 comments total)
Journalist: "What was going through your mind at the time?"

Beharry: "A rocket propelled grenade."

What a gent.
posted by scaryduck at 4:04 AM on March 18, 2005

here's the full text of the citation. Incredible.

Anyone else see the Jeremy Clarkson documentary on the VC last year? It was a brilliant programme, the Robert Cain story was unbelieveable. His daughter (Clarkson's wife) only discovered he was a VC winner after his death.
posted by derbs at 5:24 AM on March 18, 2005

Wow. thanks for bringing it to my attention.
posted by Busithoth at 5:32 AM on March 18, 2005

I read the BBC article. Wow!
posted by davebarnes at 5:38 AM on March 18, 2005

Amazing stuff. I bet Hollywood makes a movie out of these events.
posted by debralee at 6:15 AM on March 18, 2005

Like to echo what scaryduck said, just reading it the hairs on the back of my head stood up. Private Johnson Beharry I salute you.
posted by johnnyboy at 6:47 AM on March 18, 2005

"Amazing stuff. I bet Hollywood makes a movie out of these events"

That would be great to watch, just to see how they explain away Vin Diesel's accent and the added scene where he saves the puppy.

Here's that lefty Guardian's take on all this.

I would salute the man, but I genuinely don't think I'm worthy.
posted by fullerine at 6:55 AM on March 18, 2005

Awesome heroics.
posted by caddis at 7:00 AM on March 18, 2005

He totally deserves this award. He deserves it for the first attack alone. To think that he returned and saved his mates in a similar attack months later shows the kind of person he is.

I also remember seeing that Clarkson VC documentary which was full of amazing war stories about Major Robert Cain singlehandedly destroying a buttload of german tanks on foot with nothing but an improvised mortar launcher. (no doubt the bbc will do a repeat airing of it pretty soon in light of recent events, so look out for it).

I think this is final proof that the Brits don't have it as easy as people might think in Iraq when compared to the Americans.

Once again, a thoroughly deserved citation. And an incredibly lucky man considering that most Victoria Cross medals have to be awarded posthumously.
posted by Po0py at 7:30 AM on March 18, 2005

hell, give him two
posted by slapshot57 at 8:04 AM on March 18, 2005

I'd buy him a drink with my last dollar.

Here's an image of a Warrior IFV similar to what he was driving.
posted by furtive at 8:07 AM on March 18, 2005

This reminds me of Captain Richard Annand, the first recipient of a Victoria Cross in the Second World War, who died only a few months ago. Like Pte Beharry, he won his VC for going to the rescue of a wounded fellow-soldier under enemy fire.
posted by verstegan at 8:11 AM on March 18, 2005

He is an example of the best in humanity, which only manifests itself once in a while.
posted by The Salaryman at 9:16 AM on March 18, 2005

posted by bardic at 9:42 AM on March 18, 2005

hell, give him two

He wouldn't be the first person to get two VCs.
posted by Quinbus Flestrin at 10:42 AM on March 18, 2005

Po0py - if the brits have it easier than us, it's because they've been a whole lot smarter than us. Remember waaaaaaay back when, before Fallujah was lost and then taken back? Remember how American forces shot some teenagers and their families demanded recompense and we refused? Somehow, I think the brits would have paid up.

Pretty amazing story and amazing guy. It's too bad he's got to be in VC-worthy circumstances, though.
posted by kavasa at 10:50 AM on March 18, 2005

Wouldn't it be more fair to say that it's the Commonwealth's highest award for bravery in combat?
posted by maledictory at 11:28 AM on March 18, 2005

The Victoria Cross is awarded individually by specific states within the Commonwealth -- the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and theoretically, Canada. It is not a Commonwealth award, although there might be one for the rare times the CoN organizes a peacekeeping operation. By counterexample, India is a member of the Commonwealth, but its highest award is the Param Vir Chakra.
posted by dhartung at 12:43 PM on March 18, 2005

Great story man.
I wonder if the V.C. is given the same courtesies the Congressional Medal of Honor is? (For example you salute a man with a CMH even if you are the CIC)
Whatever the case, I would be honored to render this man a salute.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:03 PM on March 18, 2005

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